China today

Turkish leader tells vice-premier he's eager for Belt & Road forum

2017-04-20 07:09:00 (Beijing Time)         Chinadaily.com.cn

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Vice-Premier Liu Yandong meets with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday. Murat Cetinmuhurdar / Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he looked forward to attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation planned for May in China and to meeting President Xi Jinping.

Erdogan spoke during his meeting with visiting Vice-Premier Liu Yandong in Ankara, the Turkish capital. He requested that Liu convey his greetings to Xi and said his meetings with the president in recent years had promoted strong ties between Turkey and China.

The Turkish president said the region, as well as the world, will benefit from strengthened dovetailing of the development strategies and deepened cooperation in various fields between the two countries.

Expressing hope for both sides to deepen economic and trade cooperation, Erdogan said he welcomed Chinese companies to invest in Turkey and added his country hopes to strengthen security and counterterrorism cooperation with China.

Erdogan, together with heads of state and government leaders of 27 other countries, have confirmed their attendance at the Belt and Road forum, which will be held in Beijing on May 14 and 15.

Liu, who was in Turkey for a three-day visit, conveyed Xi's greetings to Erdogan and congratulated him on the passage of Turkey's constitutional referendum.

Liu welcomed Erdogan's upcoming attendance to the Belt and Road forum and said China attaches great importance to ties with Turkey, a member of the G20 and a regional power yielding great influence.

Liu said she hopes the two countries will deepen cooperation, promote construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and revive the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

China also hopes to expand people-to-people exchanges and cooperation with Turkey so the two peoples can enhance understanding and friendship that would lead to more public support for further ties, Liu said.

Liu also attended on Tuesday the launch ceremony of an institute focusing on Chinese studies at a local university.

wangqingyun@chinadaily.com.cn